Monday, April 19, 2010

Those Screwy Celtics

In a 1991 episode of the sitcom Cheers, Boston Celtics forward Kevin McHale becomes obsessed with knowing how many bolts are in the Boston Garden basketball court, and the obsession ruins his game.  If only Kevin had a copy of How Many Licks? How many bolts are in the basketball court at the old Garden?
An NBA basketball court is 94 ft by 50 ft.  As you can see, there are about 10 floorboards running across the width of the court and 18 running down its length giving a total of 180 floorboards.  If each floorboard is held down by 4 bolts (one at each corner), there will be 720 total bolts. 
A quick Google search shows that there are actually 988 bolts.  Presumably, my estimate is lower because I only counted the playing surface and not the several meters floorboards that make up the sidelines.

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